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Old August 22nd, 2008, 12:03 PM   #301
Magellan
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Originally Posted by Steve87 View Post
As far as I remember the UK authorities were a bit fussy with the passport controls and insisted that passengers are being checked before they board the train. Given the slow speed of the Eurostar before HS1 that does not surprise me since any illegals who would have made it into the Schengen area could have boarded the Eurostar on the Continent and then jump off the train into the English countryside without having been checked once.

It is interesting though that the Swiss authorities appear to be much more relaxed about this.
The Spanish people have first-hand experiences of terrorist activities on trains; I wonder if someone in the know would care to comment from a Spanish perspective?
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 12:09 PM   #302
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Perhaps they should introduce Schengen Zone pre-clearance at St. Pancras (or Ebbsfleet and Ashford) instead, so that trains could enter the Channel Tunnel without immigration controls. It's the same concept as US immigration controls existing at Canadian and Mexican airports and ferry terminals.
I do not know the US/Canadian arrangements, but I think in practice that is what happens already; the Eurostar practice follows international airtravel border controls - you and your luggage must pass through security checks before you are allowed on the train. Trains are berthed in secure areas as is the case with airliners.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 12:10 PM   #303
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Originally Posted by Gag Halfrunt View Post
Eurostar already has what amounts to pre-clearance, in the sense that anyone who would be refused entry would not get as far as boarding the train.

The security arrangements are very similar to those at airports. When you arrive at the station, you have to check in for your train. Your ticket and passport are checked, after which you wait in the departure lounge until the train is ready to board. Once you arrive at your destination, your passport is checked again by immigration officers. At London and Paris, they have booths as far as I remember, but at Lille the gendarmes just stood on the platform.
Sorry, did not see your answer before posting.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 12:20 PM   #304
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I remember this being the case even before the Schengen here. Passports were checked on board the trains between most European countries. It is simply the UK government making a big issue about this. Island mentality I suppose.
It is not an island mentality - it arises out of historical experiance of terrorist activity going back to the 1890s.

However, opinion within Government circles is changing on this given that recent experiences have shown that the threat is now also coming from within and thus is leading to a shift towards personal ID checks for all rather than relying on border controls.

Eurpoean developments on Police cooperation, interlinked ID databases, and other tracking technology may see Britain change its stance on Schengen in the coming years.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 09:14 PM   #305
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I remember this being the case even before the Schengen here. Passports were checked on board the trains between most European countries. It is simply the UK government making a big issue about this. Island mentality I suppose.
Indeed, I traveled around Europe by train long before the existence of the Tunnel and of Schengen. I never used a passport, only an ID card and between Belgium and our neighbours the customs came on the train (sometimes even not) and they took just a glimps at it. I even travelled to Yugoslavia by train without a passport when it was still a communist country back in 1981.
The border controls for travelling to the uk date back from the middle-ages. It will not stop any criminal or terrorist. (All the terrorists allready have British citizenship anyway)
In the USA there are no borders checks between the states, they have also much to fear from terrorists, still criminals and terrorists can travel freely all over the country...
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Old August 24th, 2008, 11:46 PM   #306
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Originally Posted by hix View Post
Indeed, I traveled around Europe by train long before the existence of the Tunnel and of Schengen. I never used a passport, only an ID card and between Belgium and our neighbours the customs came on the train (sometimes even not) and they took just a glimps at it. I even travelled to Yugoslavia by train without a passport when it was still a communist country back in 1981.
The border controls for travelling to the uk date back from the middle-ages. It will not stop any criminal or terrorist. (All the terrorists allready have British citizenship anyway)
In the USA there are no borders checks between the states, they have also much to fear from terrorists, still criminals and terrorists can travel freely all over the country...
The USA is a country. The EU is not.

I'm pro EU and i think we should adopt Schengen, its good for everyone.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 12:12 AM   #307
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The USA is a country. The EU is not.
How does that make any difference?
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Old August 25th, 2008, 01:04 AM   #308
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How does that make any difference?
Why would you need border controls if you aint crossing a border? Thats the difference.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #309
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Originally Posted by hix View Post
Indeed, I traveled around Europe by train long before the existence of the Tunnel and of Schengen. I never used a passport, only an ID card and between Belgium and our neighbours the customs came on the train (sometimes even not) and they took just a glimps at it. I even travelled to Yugoslavia by train without a passport when it was still a communist country back in 1981.
The border controls for travelling to the uk date back from the middle-ages. It will not stop any criminal or terrorist. (All the terrorists allready have British citizenship anyway)
In the USA there are no borders checks between the states, they have also much to fear from terrorists, still criminals and terrorists can travel freely all over the country...

- In the UK we do not have ID cards as yet, which are more common in Europe.
- The terrorists are not all based in the UK - they hold multiple identities across Europe and from outside.
- Many European countries have not had the same experiences with terrorism that the UK has had.
- Border controls are not from the middle ages - passports were introduced after WW1 for instance.
- The USA has very strong border controls and uses other means to track US citizens.

Overall I think it is time for the UK to review its membership of the Shengen Agreement, especially if as improvements in police cooperation and integrated databases are implemented across Europe.

Removing the controls on Eurostar would make the expansion of the service to other destinations more practical.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #310
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Why would you need border controls if you aint crossing a border? Thats the difference.
For me there is no difference between the state borders in the USA and country borders in the EU.
There is absolutely no reason why the UK should have border controls with the rest of the EU. We travel freely all over Europe with no borders at all. Except to the UK.
Like I said: in 1981 I travelled more easily (without a passport) to communist Yugoslavia than today to the UK.

The border controls didn't stop the terrorists to bomb the London Subway, it will not stop them in the future.
It's only a false pretext used by Europhobic Britons to close their borders...
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Old August 26th, 2008, 11:41 PM   #311
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hix View Post
For me there is no difference between the state borders in the USA and country borders in the EU.
There is absolutely no reason why the UK should have border controls with the rest of the EU. We travel freely all over Europe with no borders at all. Except to the UK.
Like I said: in 1981 I travelled more easily (without a passport) to communist Yugoslavia than today to the UK.

The border controls didn't stop the terrorists to bomb the London Subway, it will not stop them in the future.
It's only a false pretext used by Europhobic Britons to close their borders...
There is a difference - European countries are separate countries. I agree that controls are not nearly as necessary as they used to be, but in terms of the existence of the countries the EU has been around for only a moment and its not possible to just rip out large sections of sovereign buraucracy. Was there ever a time when you needed a passport to go from Manhatten to Newark? We travel freely all over Europe because of teh schengen agreement. This does not cover the UK hence the reason why there are border controls. Again I agree that ist isn't really necessary, but things like border controls don't just suddenly disappear the moment they become practically unecessary, it takes time, and all government departments concerned need to work out how to replace them. That also requires the political will, and it also needs the Daily Mail to stop scaring the crap out the population with immigration scare stories.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
There is a difference - European countries are separate countries. I agree that controls are not nearly as necessary as they used to be, but in terms of the existence of the countries the EU has been around for only a moment and its not possible to just rip out large sections of sovereign buraucracy. Was there ever a time when you needed a passport to go from Manhatten to Newark? We travel freely all over Europe because of teh schengen agreement. This does not cover the UK hence the reason why there are border controls. Again I agree that ist isn't really necessary, but things like border controls don't just suddenly disappear the moment they become practically unecessary, it takes time, and all government departments concerned need to work out how to replace them. That also requires the political will, and it also needs the Daily Mail to stop scaring the crap out the population with immigration scare stories.
Sorry, but this argument runs contrary to the actual existence of Schengen. In every Schengen country, those government departments concerned have by definition already figured out how to replace them, how are the UK's government departments any different in that regard?
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Old August 27th, 2008, 10:30 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by Koen Acacia View Post
Sorry, but this argument runs contrary to the actual existence of Schengen. In every Schengen country, those government departments concerned have by definition already figured out how to replace them, how are the UK's government departments any different in that regard?
Schengen didn't turn up overnight, a whole lot of talks had to take place. The UK wasn't part of those talks so it missed that opportunity. Why or the relevencew is irrelevant, it didn't happen. We would have to start the whole process again just for us, which in my view we should, but there you go.

Its one thing to say that there shouldn't be a difference, and a whole other thing to say that there isn't a difference, the latter of which you maintain.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 12:06 PM   #314
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Even before the existence of Schengen there were no border controls in the Benelux while the controls between Benelux, France and Germany where very superficial. On the highways they just waved you through and on the smaller roads there were no customs since a long time.
The UK does not need Schengen to make the border only theoretical and wave people welcome like they did in central Europe since the fifties.
The EU has made the outside-EU borders very strict. This will never stop immigrants to come in, just like in the USA, they can not stop immigrants coming from Mexico.
The fact that the EU has countries and the USA has states does not justify the existance of border controls. There is no natural or universal law that say borders should be controled. In the EU we have now as European citizens the right to travel freely and settle freely in other EU countries. It is very sad that the UK and some other members can not make up there mind and stop these silly and anoying border controls...
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Old August 27th, 2008, 12:30 PM   #315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
Schengen didn't turn up overnight, a whole lot of talks had to take place. The UK wasn't part of those talks so it missed that opportunity. Why or the relevencew is irrelevant, it didn't happen. We would have to start the whole process again just for us, which in my view we should, but there you go.

Its one thing to say that there shouldn't be a difference, and a whole other thing to say that there isn't a difference, the latter of which you maintain.
More like: the difference will only exist if people want it to exist.
That some technical stuff would have to be done: of course, no argument.
That, since EU states are different countries that, therefore, have borders between them which, therefore, must be controlled: that part is factually incorrect. That's all I'm saying really.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #316
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Originally Posted by Koen Acacia View Post
More like: the difference will only exist if people want it to exist.
That some technical stuff would have to be done: of course, no argument.
That, since EU states are different countries that, therefore, have borders between them which, therefore, must be controlled: that part is factually incorrect. That's all I'm saying really.
Then we are agreed. The bold bit as you say does not necessarily follow as an independent argument/statement anymore (if it ever did that is), its just that it was deemed necessary at some point in history, and we are all the children of history!!!
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Old August 27th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #317
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Is there much of a push to get the UK to join the Schengen agreement?
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Old August 27th, 2008, 03:24 PM   #318
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Not really, it seems to be off the agenda for the time being.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 03:42 PM   #319
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The reasons behind UK not being in Schengen are purely historical and driven by a litle-Englander mentality

Fears about control
===============
My wife is non-European - it has always been much easier to take her to Uk than to Schengen zone.

Fears about terrorism
================
Main source of terrorism used to be Ireland (no passport:visa required). Now it is Islamoc extremists holding British passports

Fears about being flooded with east European immigrants
==========================================
They are let in without restriction...

The reasosn Britain does not have Schengen is anti-EU paranoia - nothing else
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Old August 27th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #320
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Basically blame the Daily Mail. I do.
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